Casa de mi Padre

 

Casa de mi Padre

Written by Andrew Steele

Translated into Spanish by Patrick C. Perez

Cinematography by Ramsey Nickell

Production Design by Kevin Kavanaugh

Editing by David Trachtenberg

Music by Andrew Feltenstein & John Nau

Produced by Adam McKay, Will Farrell, Emilio Diez Barroso, Darlene Caamaño Loquet and Andrew Steele

Directed by Matt Piedmont

2011

 

Cast:

Will Farrell

Diego Luna

Gael Garcia Bernal

Genesis Rodriguez

Pedro Armendariz Jr

Nick Offerman

Efren Ramirez

Adrian Martinez

 

Rated: R

 

Production Studio:

Theatrical: Gary Sanchez Productions & NALA Films

Video: LionsGate 

 

Video

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p

Codec: AVC

Disc Size: BD50

Feature Size: ca. 24.20 GB

Bit Rate: High (34~39 Mbps)

Runtime: 84 minutes

Chapters: 25

 

Audio:

Spanish DTS-HD MA 5.1

English Dolby Digital 2.0

 

Subtitles:

English & Spanish

 

Extras:

• Making of (15:40)

• Interview with Pedro Armendariz Jr (3:35)

• “Fight for Love” music video

• 4 faux commercials

• Deleted Scenes

• Audio Commentary with Director Matt Piedmont, Writer/Producer Andrew Steele, and Actor Will Farrell

 

Presentation:

Amaray Blu-ray Case w/ slipcover

Street Date: July 17, 2012



The Movie: 5

Casa de mi Padre makes use of a cleverish idea that you wouldn’t be chided for thinking was inspired by the recent success of the silent film The Artist.  Now that I have your attention, let us be clear that Casa de mi Padre has almost nothing in common with the Oscar winning film except that in both films, the leading actors speak in a language audiences don’t ordinarily associate them with.  In The Artist French-speaking actors Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo speak in mime, and in Casa de mi Padre speaks in Spanish, as does everyone else in the movie.  Curiously, the writer Andrew Steele wrote the screenplay in English and had it translated into Spanish sdfghjkl.  I imagine most audiences with more linear associations than mine will make connections to Black Dynamite (which I hated) and Death Proof (which I loved.)


     

 

The presence of Mr. Farrell pretty much guarantees a spoof, but often predicts a one-note characterization.  This is less troublesome here in this take-off on the Mexican Western movie genre, with its grandees, conflicted family loyalties , dope-dealers and sultry women.

 

Critical Response:

Salon.com:

Is “Casa de Mi Padre” brilliant or pointless? Indubitably it’s both, as Ron Burgundy might put it. It’s a parody of something so specific that it never quite existed in the first place: the Mexican telenovela plus the spaghetti western plus the straight-to-VHS action flicks of the ’70s, maybe. If you fell asleep in the hot-tub time machine and woke up stoned in 1982, this is the movie you’d find yourself watching on some UHF channel (right after the soccer match between Tigres and Toluca). Some of its gags absolutely fall flat — having a climactic action scene replaced with still photos of miniatures is pretty funny, while an on-screen note apologizing for it is not — but considered as a whole it’s a wonderful and hilarious phenomenon, most of it is executed to Dadaist perfection. . .


     

 

I think the point of “Casa de Mi Padre” is that a major Hollywood comedy star made a preposterous and delightful low-budget movie in Spanish, for no reason except that the absurdity of the premise appealed to him, and because he wants to push his celebrity in unexpected directions. But maybe it’s not even that complicated. Maybe it’s just that when Bernal’s unctuous drug lord makes a phone call from poolside, surrounded by girls in tiny bikinis, he uses exactly the right ultra-high-tech toy from 30-odd years ago, and it’s beautiful and funny and expresses a lot of things without saying a word, and that’s quite enough. - Andrew O’Hehir


     

 

AVClub.com:

The deliberately miscast Ferrell stars as the naïve, virginal idiot son of a prominent Mexican family who discovers, to his horror, that his debauched smarter brother (Diego Luna) is a prominent drug dealer at war with a rival played with lip-smacking villainy by Luna’s Y Tu Mamá También co-star Gael García Bernal. Everyone regards Ferrell’s idiot man-child as a well-meaning dope, but when his family is threatened, Ferrell rises to the challenge while simultaneously courting his brother’s gorgeous, hot-blooded fiancée.


     


As with Black Dynamite, many of Casa De Mi Padre’s sharpest, most inspired gags riff on the source material’s ingratiatingly amateurish production values and exuberantly incompetent stylistic choices. It’s a supremely meta-movie that never stops reminding audiences they’re watching a film, and a spectacularly silly one at that. Director Matt Piedmont and Ferrell previously worked together at Saturday Night Live. Unsurprisingly, Casa Di Mi Padre intermittently feels like an ingenious sketch or killer trailer, extended to feature length. Even more than most of Ferrell’s comedies, this one is featherweight and inconsequential, but at 83 minutes, it never wears out its welcome. It’s slight but savvy enough to know exactly how far to stretch a thin but ultimately clever conceit – Nathan Rabin


     


NY Times:

A quick-sketch routine stretched — amusingly, absurdly, thinly — to feature length, “Casa de Mi Padre” (“House of My Father”) stars Mr. Ferrell as Armando Alvarez, the eldest son of a rancher down Mexico, or rather down telenovela, way, where the men are brave, the women beautiful, the villains venal, the passions inflamed, the prose empurpled, the sunsets honeyed, and the dangers as numerous as the clichés.


     


The biggest joke in “Casa de Mi Padre” is that Mr. Ferrell speaks Spanish without winking throughout the hyperserious proceedings, and as he often does, he turns his character’s innocence into a strange state of grace. The sincerity of his performance makes Armando seem foolish and therefore funnier, at least when he has enough good material.  Mr. Bernal and Mr. Luna, by contrast, mostly seem to be having a goof playing cowboys and narcos, and their barely contained smiles, however shining, work against Mr. Ferrell’s commitment and undermine the movie’s poker-faced interests. “Casa de Mi Padre” is best when it stops pretending that anyone, including the filmmakers, cares about the pointless story. – Manohla Dargis


     

 

Image: 6/8

Unlike Grindhouse retakes like Black Dynamite and Planet Terror, Casa de mi Padre by and large ignores most of the intentional faux bad distribution print screw-ups, and right after the seriously damaged “Mexico Scope” logo, gets right down to a just passable high-definition image once the action moves from the open range to the ranch house.  There are a couple of deliberate splicing mistakes that, in this context, strike me as wholly out of place, but otherwise the look of the movie is consistent with the heightened color palette of telemundo productions.  Contrast is under control, color is intentionally golden hued. Sharpness and resolution is rarely worth the name, but neither is it poor - more like a well-upscaled DVD.  I suspect Lionsgate did well with what they were given since there are no distracting transfer mishaps and the bit rate is about as high as it it gets.


     

 

Audio: 8/8

In the context of an over-the-top melodramatic script, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix comes of very well indeed.  Gunfire pays some attention to indoor vs outdoor location and the type of armament used.  Dialogue, which, except for a few lines in English by the American DEA agents, is entirely in Spanish, is clear enough, and the sync correct enough, to see that Farrell is doing the speaking, not always overdubbing himself.  The campfire ballad with Farrell, Efren Ramirez and Adrian Martinez comes off very much in the tradition.  BTW the voiceover introduction that informs the unsuspecting audience of the Spanish dialogue errs (and I don’t think this is deliberate) when he announces “If it sounds Spanish, man, that’s what it is - a Spanish movie” . . . which, of course it isn’t: It’s Mexican.


     

 

Extras: 6

A decent palette of bonus features here, headlined by the audio commentary provided by the film’s writer/producer, director and star.  A handful of your usual deleted scenes (raw footage that looks better than it should), four faux commercials (that looks worse than it should) and a music video of little consequence round out the group.


     

 

Recommendation: 6

Casa de mi Padre is a broad and relentlessly silly Ferrellian take on the Mexican telenovela western.  It’s best when it takes itself seriously and least good when it winks at the audience.  It is best enjoyed with a group of like-minded jocks and jockesses with ample quantities of beer and pizza.  I imagine that telemundo aficionados will get quite a kick out of it.


     



Leonard Norwitz

© LensViews

July 10, 2012



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